suck sucky suck suck

cheap-fun-wineYeah, I’m pissed. And depressed.

I’m 55 years-old, smart, reasonably attractive, and fairly well-liked! I dress well, speak well, and I have SKILZ, baby!

If I were younger I would consider making an offer to sleep my way into a job.  I’d also take pictures and blackmail their asses but still….money is money.

On Friday, three days ago my daughter called me from work to tell me that one of her patients mentioned that a job had just opened for a Marketing Director at a nearby assisted living facility. She suggested that I would be ideal for the job and since I had “insider” information I might be able to beat the crowds looking for work there. It was too late to get my resume out to them by that time so first thing this morning, Monday, I called them to ask for an appointment and was told the position had already been filled.  WTF?

So I have decided that if I live frugally enough I may be able to make it through till I sell this place, collect Social Security (HA!), and maybe have something left over in my annuity to keep me from having to ask my kids to let me live with them.

So here are some ideas I have to save money:

I plan to unplug my clocks while I sleep. 

I will only eat whatever is on sale, and I will only buy what I know I will consume. In the past I have been rather wasteful. I have been known to buy items and then they sat in the freezer or produce bins until they were no longer edible. This spring I tossed some freezer burned edemame, chicken livers, a roast of dubious origins, several bags of Tater Tots , and a 4 lb. chunk of frozen Velveeta over the bank in the back field.  NO MORE! I also intend to start that diet. I think I can probably hibernate on these extra 20  40 lbs. I carry.

Two-ply toilet paper and paper towels? No more. Any remaining two-ply items will summarily be separated into single-ply and used thusly. By reducing my food intake (see above)  I will dramatically cut down on my own “solid-wastes” anyway!

I will get used to wearing a winter coat while in my house. My down comforter will substitute at night. Thermostats will be kept at 55 degrees.  I apologize to anyone visiting me but be forewarned to dress appropriately when coming by.

Coupons. I hate ’em. I will now use them.

Consignment clothing is chic, no? I may look retro-fashionable from now on (otherwise known as “the bag lady look”).

dress made from ramen noodles packages

dress made from ramen noodles packages

Mineral make-up is expensive but I love it. BareMinerals is my cosmetic of choice but perhaps some good old Pennsylvania dirt would work as well. It is, after all, mostly minerals! And it will work so well with the retro fashions I intend to adopt! Perhaps if I sterilize it in the microwave first…..

Siphoning gas from my ex’s vehicles will save me on gasoline bills for my car. Hey! Who asked him to build a house right across from me anyway?

If anyone would like to contribute suggestions on ways that I can save more money please comment and I will take them under consideration. If anyone would like to donate to my retirement fund…. I will adopt you. I could use the tax write-off of a dependent.

the good, the bad, and the snuggly (no, not the damn blanket!)

The weather sucks.

It really does. It’s 42 degrees outside and not much warmer inside, as far as I can tell. D’Bear keeps the heat off until icicles form on the computer screens. Hey, it is his house to do with as he sees fit. Oh, he tells me to turn the heat up but I know he hates it…so I don’t.

stanleyclarkeI am here in NY since last Friday. We went to see Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White play their amazing jazz in Buffalo at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts.  I am learning to love jazz. I never thought I would!  Stanley Clark practically f*cked that bass, I swear! He made love to it and made it sing in ways I never knew a bass could sound. He strummed it, plucked it, beat the strings, drummed on the body, fluttered his hand over it like he was literally making love to it! Oh. My. Gosh.

Today is the 7th day in a row with no sunshine. I can’t take much more of this.

I considered going to Rochester Works , the NY State -run employment agency to look for a job here in Rochester. I changed my mind. I need a job. I do. Money is draining through my fingers way too fast. My savings are not going to be able to withstand the kinds of hits they took this past year again unless I can somehow bolster them up with some moolah this year.

My prospects aren’t that good back in Pennsylvania. The economy sucks there like in many small towns. The few manufacturing jobs they once had have long since dried up. Car dealers folded. No one is growing larger, business-wise. My marketable skills are … well, let’s say I fit a niche market, shall we? It sounds better than saying I am practically unemployable at 55 years-old.

Oh, I am smart, reasonably attractive, willing to work, and easy to train but let’s face it. McDonald’s doesn’t really care if I keep my nails nice and ran my own business for 12 years, right?

The job market is considerably better here in Rochester BUT, and here’s the rub, I live in PA! All my contacts, my “stuff” is till there, in PA.  My bank, my mechanic, my house, my daughter and her family, my art studio, my junk… all are there.  If I didn’t have my house there it would be different, but I do. Until D’Bear and I make other arrangements that’s the way it’s going to be.

I don’t want to get married. I want to live, love, laugh, and enjoy the years left without the legal shit. I want to be with D’Bear simply and truly because I love him. No other reason.

He found out this week that his contract job is coming to a close shortly, like in one to three weeks. That means he will be looking for the  next job, feeling the financial strain of living on savings and unemployment until the next gig comes along. Sometimes he gets cranky as shit and I have to put up with his moods and he tells me it’s because he is unemployed. Ahhem… helllooo!!! So am I!

I want to work, too. I just don’t feel like being degraded in the workplace by slinging burgers or emptying bedpans, or smiling at dumbass customers at Home Depot for a few measly bucks a week. I don’t mean to imply that there is anything wrong with doing those jobs but I won’t go there. I am 55 years-old, and I deserve want to work in a place which respects the workers with a fair wage. And I will NOT work every damn Saturday!  I worked every Saturday for over ten years when I had my business and I will NOT do that again.

mcdonalds1Call me what you will.  I am not a prima donna. I am a damned hard worker. With me , you get 150%, but only if you grant me respect. Otherwise I’m outa there. I have watched pimply-faced 19-year-old boys in management at fast food places ,bossing around women twice their age, with sneers in their voices as though the women had no feelings.   I have seen the callousness of nursing home owners when speaking to the nurses’ aides.  I have heard the stories of the retail workers at that DIY place and I can’t imagine working there for very long.

So I am at a loss.

I’m going to sit here and figure it out. One way or another.

Hell, Cougar Town is taped! I can watch that! Noo, maybe not. I don’t need another media message telling me I should look like Courtney Cox in 4-inch heels.

Fuzzy slippers and a sweatshirt maybe.

OH! Here’s another thing! (You thought this damned long blog was finally coming to a close, didn’t you? HA!) After two years together, I am finally coming to the conclusion that I try too damned hard OR he-who-will-not-be-named needs to step his game up. I do not greet him after he comes home from work wearing sweat pants and a hoody. I smell good. I look good. I am cheerful. FUCK! I am practically June-Fucking-Cleaver!cleaverish He looks good when he goes to work. On weekends he wears cargo shorts and Tshirts. What happened to the nice pressed, button-down shirts and the neat jeans? When did wearing cologne become only for workdays? Hmm?

What happened to the sexy talk? When did sleeping- in become sleeping? When did saying “You look beautiful ” become a thing of the past? Where did the occasional love notes or flowers or kisses-for-no-reason go?

Every time I leave NY to drive home…EVERY TIME! … I write him a love note or letter or paint him a picture and leave it somewhere for him to find when I am gone. It’s become a game with us. As soon as he gets home he looks for it. Sometimes it’s somewhere obvious like on the bed. Sometimes I leave it a little hidden so he has to look for it. But I ALWAYS do it.

I am still waiting to find one from him.

Now, in all fairness, he does some wonderful and loving things. He does. He tells me he loves me pretty often. He is a thoughtful and considerate lover. He takes good care of me in so many ways. I am a bitch to complain.

I know he loves me. That’s not it. I am just tired of being the one to make all the effort here.

Men.

I love ’em.

keep breathing

woman-and-crows

It seems that many of my friends and I are going through a period of , maybe not quite depression, but a deep feeling of sorrow.

I am not sure what’s going on but I suspect there are lots of reasons. Some of us are having trouble making ends meet.  Some of us are tired of feeling like we’re less than the most important thing in our partner’s life. Some of us want to grow, to learn, to see ourselves in a whole new light and don’t know how to make a change.  Some of us are in pain, real pain, physical pain. Some of us are suffering a loss. And some of us just got thrown a pile of shit.

I feel it, too. I shouldn’t. I’m in the best and healthiest relationship of my life. I feel loved for who I am finally.I have a man in my life whom I adore and who adores me and treats me with the utmost love and respect.  That should count for more than enough to mitigate any negative feelings I have. But it doesn’t.

Some days I wake up and think “oh, ..great.. another day. the same as yesterday…joy..”

Partly the factors I listed above have a part in this negative mood. I lost a shitload  last year in retirement money I had socked away. Every day seems to bring a new financial challenge: a leaky roof, a mechanical problem with the old car,  a new medical ailment, etc. 

 Partly it’s a feeling of frustration over my lack of direction and meaning in my life. For the first time in 55 years I have no  one to wake up for in the morning who needs me in a real sense. No one who wants me to make them a good hot breakfast or who needs me to do a job that only I can do that day. I don’t earn a paycheck anymore. That makes a big difference to me. I see the numbers on a paycheck and I feel like the hours of the past week meant something…or not, if the numbers are too low.

I eat too much , I drink too much, I want to sleep too much when I feel like this. I know it will pass.

That’s what having lived a hard life taught me; life has ever-changing waves of highs and lows. No one is immune.  It’s the way of LIFE. No one promised me a rose garden. I got one though.

If you’ve ever raised roses you know what I mean. Roses are beautiful, to be sure, but they are not easy to grow. They require lots of maintenance: pruning,watering,  feeding, deadheading, mulching, insecticides, and preparations to control mildews. They get eaten by deer, rabbits and other herbivores. They die if the temperatures drop too low. Sometimes they simply die for no known reason!

 But OH! When they bloom! The make your heart SING they are so beautiful! And then we accept compliments and congratulations for this miraculous thing of beauty when we know in our hearts that we are only the caretakers, not the Creator.

 So tomorrow I will see sunshine even through the rain. I know it’s there beyond the clouds.

This song by Ingrid Michaelson pretty well sums up my mood right now.

 

woe is me…..

   screwme Well, the day arrived. I placed a claim with my home-owner’s insurance. The company I deal with is..well, it rhymes with StationWide. The name should be “Bend Over. This is Gonna Hurt!”  They sent an adjuster out this morning. His name was Richard but he looked like a Dick before the morning was through.dick1

   I got up early, put on coffee in case he wanted some, tidied the house, especially the areas I knew he would by looking at. I showered and fluffed. I smiled. I was pleasant. I figured that being nice to the man who will cut me a check for the damages is just smart business sense. 

    I now know why they call them “adjusters”. He surely adjusted the numbers! My contractor placed an estimate of the repairs at $6, 140.  That was to repair the damage and install cables on the roof to prevent  further damage.  According to the adjuster man, cables will not be covered. I showed him the stained, damp mattress and box spring which will most likely have to be replaced. That’s not covered. 

    After I showed him  all the water damage, he took pictures and measured the rooms with his manly tape measure (men do seem to love them some tape measures. I don’t know why!) then said he was going out to his truck to do the figures.

    Man-Oh-Man! They must have equipped that truck really well! He came in after a half an hour with about 6 pages of personalized printed pages explaining the company’s policies regarding payment and how they arrive at the numbers. He also had printed out a check…for $1,995.00. He couldn’t even f*cking round it up to $2000. ! I have a $1000. deductible so basically they shorted me around $5000. if you count the things that weren’t included in the contractor’s estimate, like carpet cleaning, new mattress/box spring, etc!

   When he gave me the check I’m sure I looked weird as I stood there with my mouth open , staring at the piece of paper. WTF?!?!

    In my life I’ve only ever made one other insurance claim on my home-owner’s policy and that was 24 years ago for the time lightning hit my home and blew out a few appliances!

   I wish now I’d had the balls to look him in the eye and say “F*ck you and your company, too! Do you sleep well at night ? Does this really seem fair to you, you miserable c*cksucker?”    I realize I could call and maybe have this thing drag out, trying to make a larger claim but I just don’t have the energy. They win.

    I hate to always be complaining but this has been a pretty sucky period for me financially. I just heard from the logger who was so eager to cut trees down on the property. He said there isn’t enough good timber to make it worth his time. So there goes another money-making opportunity down the drain. I was so looking forward to a nice fat check from him! Evidently there hasn’t been enough growth since the place was logged out 27 years ago!

   I am looking forward to eating lots more beans than meat in the near future if things continue the way they’ve been going. That’s all right. I hear a vegetarian diet is healthier anyway.

I Know It’s Winter But…

dirty_sexy_money-logo

Last week’s episodes of frozen pipes and fingers that never got really warm have me thinking of a trip to San Juan or the Bahamas or anywhere where there’s a beach and the temperature is 80 degrees or above. (Pool boys optional but desired.)

God, why didn’t you make me rich? I would not have been rotten about it. I would have shared like a good girl. I simply think that someone, like myself, who always  mostly played by the rules her whole life deserves a little sumpum-sumpum, ya know what I mean?

I’d like a few days spent to own  a cabin on a secluded beach, a kick-ass stereo system, stacks of great books on built-in bookshelves lining a woodburning fireplace, a fridge filled with triple creme brie and caviar (I prefer osetra over beluga, thank you very much), and a cellar filled with incredible wines. I want a native villager to bring me fresh fruits, crisp green veggies and the occasional just-killed free-range chicken ready for the grill weekly. I want no telephones except a direct line to my children and D’Bear (who will be able to stop working and come live with me on the beach…part time).

And all the shoes my heart desires…….shoes

 That’s not much to ask, is it?

If not that, God, could you simply make my oil bill read “payment due $1.25” ???

I’d Rather Be Thought a Fool

  willworkforfood111806

On Friday I was at D’Bear’s house in Rochester while he was at work. I was doing a little straightening and baking some cookies for the get together with the neighbors later when the doorbell rang. I don’t know which door to go to since there is the front door and then there is a side door which everyone who knows D’Bear uses. I went to the front door thinking that’s where a doorbell is most likely located.

A man was walking away by the time I got to the right door. I thought at first he was the UPS man because I could see a UPS truck out by the curb in front of the house next door. This man wasn’t wearing the “Brown” but I asked him if I could help him , thinking he may be a meter reader since I do know they come around to read the gas meters here.

 He turned to me and said “Ma’am,my name is Kenny ******. Lots of people in this neighborhood know me.  Would you like me to rake the leaves from your front yard? I sure could use the work ’cause I have no food for tonight.”

 He was a slender black man of about 40-years old. He appeared clean and quiet and non-threatening. I started to say “No” but only because D’Bear has a leaf blower and that was one of things I had planned to do that day. However when I looked at that face all I could think of was: here is a man asking for help. Not a handout. Just some help.

Now in my community back in Northeast Pennsylvania I seldom see  African-Americans or Asians or even Hispanics. We have a fairly uniform white populace. I have lived there for 27 years. Rochester is much more diversified racially. I have no real prejudices that I know of so this black man didn’t even make a blip on my radar as a man of color, only as a man in need.  I’ve been in situations in my past where the opportunity for any kind of work would have been a lifesaver. The thought of someone going without food even for a night breaks my heart when I am so blessed with food in the refrigerator all the time!

 I asked him how much he wanted to rake the yard and he hesitated only a moment before saying ” $12.00 okay?”

I said “Sure! That would be great. Just ring the bell again when you’re done and I’ll come out and pay you. By the way, are you hungry now?”  “He said “No, ma’am, but some food for later would be much appreciated.”

It was a crisp and chilly day as he began to rake the leaves but he removed his sweatshirt and hung it on the shrubbery along the driveway.  I went back inside and placed some bread, a jar of peanut butter, some grapes, cheese, and a half of a stick of pepperoni I had in a bag along with a plastic container of juice. In about a half an hour he rang the bell and I gave him the money ( I made it $20) and the bag of food. He looked at me and said “You’re gonna make me cry. That is so kind of you. Thank you.”

 I said “It’s my pleasure. You did a great job on the lawn!”  He had! It was clean and all the leaves had been neatly raked to the curb.

 He put his sweatshirt on and walked a little ways and then turned back and smiled at me as he walked on.

 I closed the door just as the phone rang. It was D’Bear. I told him what had just happened and I told him the man’s name, asking D’Bear if he knew of him and he immediately said ” NO! I have never heard of him! WE DON”T do that! That’s dangerous! There have been lots of house invasions in this area lately!! Don’t EVER do that again!”  and he was sort of shouting.

 I said, “Well, I did it. I won’t do it again. But I usually read people well and this man seemed to be no threat. My only stupidity may have been to open the door to a stranger at all!” D’Bear must have taken a moment to think about what I had said because he apologized and said “I trust your instincts. I was just frightened for you AND he could have been casing the place so he could come back and rob us later.”

  Huh?? Ok, maybe I am naive but would a man actually rake your leaves in order to canvas your yard and see if he could break in later? I guess it’s possible but it kinda makes me giggle. “The Yardman Bandit”!  Or the “the Roving Rakeman Robber”!  heeheehee!!

  D’Bear and I have talked about this a lot since Friday. He has since told me that I have a good heart even if I am kinda innocent in the ways of city life, and he feels bad for having shouted and said those things. He even offered to give me the $12 since it was for HIS yard! (I didn’t tell him I made it $20)  We had a long talk about race and the lack of jobs for unskilled workers in the city and about how one goes about being a good neighbor. I think maybe I taught him a lesson in giving and compassion. He taught me to be more cautious about opening the door to strangers. He’s right. But I’m still glad I did.

Change Is Good

A recent comment from Dobeman made me start wandering about the way others have seen me this past year or so.

As some of you may know, I am waiting for the final divorce papers to come through any day now.  It’s been three and a half years since my ex walked out my  door and into his girlfriend’s. I grieved and ranted and stopped functioning for over a year and then I decided that that was bullshit and decided to live again.

 I never expected to meet someone so easily. D’Bear and I met July 13th of last year and we’ve been a “couple” ever since. He lives three and a half hours away from me. We each own our own homes. We aren’t planning on changing anything major ’cause this arrangement suits us. We’re two peas in a pod. We are silly and loving and living a life I only dreamed was possible.

 What is it about me that has changed these past few years? Hmmm… let’s see.

  1. I no longer refer to myself as “Pat”, the name I got stuck with when I moved north of the Mason/Dixon Line in 1974. (Previous to that I was known as “Patty”. Gag me.) Now since the ex’s girlfriend is also named “Pat” I use “Trisha” since Patricia is a little too formal for me. I’m not a formal kinda gal.
  2. I have learned that I am once again still a sexual human being! Yeehaw! Sex is fun!! You just need the right partner!! Who knew?
  3. I no longer have someone to nag and/or bully into doing things around here. It never worked anyway and it only served to piss me off. Now when the garbage needs to be taken out or the fields need to be mowed or the car needs to be serviced I simply take care of it. I always did anyway. Now I just skip the first step!
  4. I am no longer afraid to go to the toilet in the middle of the night to find myself sitting in the toilet water getting my ass wet because the fucktard I was married to couldn’t be bothered to put the seat down in THIRTY FUCKING YEARS!
  5. I eat healthy foods now ( most of the time) rather than the crap the ex wanted on a regular basis. Thanks to this my cholesterol has gone down over 40 points!
  6. I have purple stripes in my hair!
  7. I dress better. This is because I am with someone who gives a shit! Before I could have worn the sexiest thing on the racks and the ex would never have noticed… or cared. If you aren’t a classic car or a meatball sub you don’t get much attention from him.
  8. I’ve learned a lot about wine. D’Bear is a wine connoisseur and I am building a kick-ass wine cellar now! I love it!
  9. I’ve learned that I can live very cheaply and still be happy. Good thing since my money options have gone to the dogs. I sold my business two years before my marriage went totally to shit and haven’t been able to regain the financial stability I once had. C’est la vie!
  10. I can love again. It’s great! I learned that I am NOT unlovable or so flawed that no one can love me.  D’Bear loves me!

So , yeah, I’ve changed. My ex used to tell me “You’re not the girl I married! You’ve changed!” Well, DUH!! I grew UP! I matured! I evolved!

 Him? Not so much.

Fed Up

 I started watching the presidential debate tonight but after  15 minutes of it I turned it off, fed up and disgruntled. I looked up the definition of the word disgruntled

adjective-

displeased and discontented; sulky; peevish:  grouchy, testy, sullen, grumpy, dissatisfied.

 

 

That’s me, to  a tee!  I got my account statement from one of my investment groups and it chilled me to the bone. I lost what is to me a huge amount of money in ONE fucking month! The money I lost could have supported me for over half a year! AGGH! 

Why did we all work so hard and sock away money for our old age if this is our reward? Last year- YES! last year all the financial advisors were still saying “Put your money in IRAs and retirement accounts. Don’t spend all your income on today! Plan for tomorrow!” Bullshit! I should gone on a freakin’ round-the-world cruise, for cryin’ out loud!

  Obama and McCain were verbally wrestling and pointing fingers and swearing that they were the salvation of America BUT they would NOT offer a solution to the economic problems facing us all. They can’t. This is bigger than they are. This mess is so stinkin’ nasty our government can’t fix it. That, I believe, folks, is the truth and it scares me half to death.

 Here, Kitty Kitty!!!  Mama needs some o’ that Nine Lives! It might be dinner pretty soon!

Shit, I’m pissed.

“Hospitalized for Exhaustion”

   What a crock of crap that line is: “Hospitalized for Exhaustion”.  If you Google it you’ll see people like friggin’ Amy Winehouse and Brittany-Fuckin’-Spears’ pictures pop up ’cause they’s SOOOOO tired. I know, or at least I think I know, that that’s a euphemism for “rehab”  most times but really!!

 I’m so tired.

D'Bear finally got some much-needed rest on Monday

 D’Bear and I had our garage sale last weekend and I’m still recuperating from it all. For three days we watched and waited for people to come in and either insult us or buy from us. Oh, yes, we made some money but no way am I ever gonna break it down to hourly wages ’cause then I will just be too freakin’ depressed to ever totally rid myself of all the crappola we’ve accumulated over the past thirty years.

  There is somehow still enough shit left in my 4-bay garage (@!#^#!!) TO DO YET ANOTHER GARAGE SALE!!!! AGHHHHHHH!!

     We did get a few interesting characters in. One guy told us a great story about the time he went deer hunting in PA and after stopping at a hunter check-point saw the Game Commission people frisking a couple of men. When the guy asked what they were being held for he heard one of the detainees say ” Hey, I shoota da deer!!” and looked over at the fellow’s car to see a large horned GOAT strapped to the vehicle, field dressed and looking silly! Seems Mr. Brooklyn-via-Sicily mistook a brown goat for the real deal!

   Then there was the gay man who after complimenting me on my taste in perfume (Victoria Beckham’s new fragrance) proceeded to flirt unmercifully with D’Bear!! Cracked me the fuck up until I saw he was buying up a shitload of stuff from said BearMan!!!

   Yeah, we made a decent amount of moola but I am soooo glad it’s OVER! The item I am most happy to see sold? The set of Crystal D’Arc stemware that the STBE (Soon-to-be-Ex) wanted but was too lazy to come get since it meant he would have to wrap each piece individually in order to get it home!  I told him he could have it but the deal was he had to come get it before the sale! I sold over $300 worth of lead crystal stemware for $60!  Yes, $60 worth of happiness!!

What Should I Do Wif it?……

  I must be freakin’ old or something. Today I met with a financial adviser, my second one so far. I am trying to be a responsible adult by investing my money wisely for my future. 

 

 My divorce settlement seemed adequate until I actually signed the papers and then my heart started beating too fast. I started waking up with a feeling of dread, that I would end up penniless in my old age.  I began to think I was foolish for not fighting harder for more of our marital assets. But I’m not really much of a fighter that way. Oh, I can fight if I have to, like for my kids, or my friends, but for me, not so much.

 

        ↑

( The ex’s girlfriend does NOT look like this. I refer to her (affectionately) as Fiona. )

 

 The new guy I met with today sounded young on the phone but I was not prepared for the reality.  

Calculating the numbers!

  He was young. Baby young. So young that I felt like I should ask him if he’d had a good breakfast. He was so young I was ready to ask him if his daddy was home. WTF? I was considering letting this whelp advise me on how to care for my future? What does he know of future? He probably only shaves every other week!

  He asked a few questions and told me he had already met my ex and “He sure is a nice guy!” (We live in a very small town.) That did it. I am definitely NOT putting my money in the hands of someone so stupid as to say such a thing to a soon-to-be divorcée ! The last thing we want to hear is that our ex is “such a nice man”. NO. He. Is. Not.    He’s a lot of things, but “nice” is not really one of them.

  I think I have two options: ask to speak with his superior and tell him the truth, that I am not comfortable with the ‘Child” or simply walk away and go to the first financial adviser I met with even though I wasn’t completely enamoured of him either. I am not totally ignorant of money matters so I can oversee my funds adequately either way.

  Meanwhile, anyone have any suggestions on how I can make a little money become a LOT of money? Hmmm?